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Cushion Cut vs Princess Cut Engagement Rings

You’ve made the decision to propose to that special person in your life - congratulations!
But when it comes to deciding on the perfect engagement ring that’s where you might feel a little lost. If you look at enough diamond options and ring styles, they might just start to blur into one!

To help, we have put together a comprehensive post on two of the most popular engagement ring diamond cuts: the cushion cut and the princess cut including a round-up of the pros and cons of each. Read on to discover more about each of these stunning diamond shapes and perhaps which one is the best choice for you and your partner.

Before we begin: Brush up on your terminology

We’re going to be using some technical words in this guide, here’s what they mean:

  • Cut - This actually means the shape of the diamond, but many prefer to use the word cut.
  • Brilliance - This is the colourless light and sparkle of a diamond and is determined by how much light is reflected in and out of the stone.
  • Fire - This is when a diamond sparkles and you see flashes of colour.
  • Inclusions - These are the blemishes or flaws in the diamond.
  • Clarity - This is the term for checking how clear a diamond is, to see if there are any inclusions.

What is a princess cut diamond? 

A princess cut diamond is a square version of the traditional round cut. It has an inverted pyramid shape from the side, which means it lets more light enter and reflect back - offering incredible sparkle and brilliance, something everyone wearing an engagement ring looks for.

The princess cut appears to be a square diamond looking at it straight on, which is why many people prefer it to the typical round brilliant - it offers something a little different but with the same stunning sparkle.

What is a cushion cut diamond?

Cushion cut diamonds are a square cut but with rounded corners - the shape looks like a pillow, which explains the name. This style doesn’t offer the same brilliance as a princess cut but it will feature plenty of fire, which looks stunning when it catches the light.

This diamond shape is ideal for those who love vintage styles and its lack of sharp edges makes it easy to wear on a day to day basis.

Cushion cut engagement rings vs princess cut

Let’s break down the pros and cons of each, to help you work out which ring is the better choice for you or your partner. 

Cushion cut



No sharp edges - this means the diamond is less likely to get chipped or snag on clothing or hair.

Feature large facets - this means the cut shows up all of the inclusions and blemishes the diamond may have.

Stunning fire - this cut reflects coloured light beautifully, making it an eye catching stone for any engagement ring.

Can only be used in certain settings - cushion cuts don’t sit well in bezel settings, for example, because the metal reduces the amount of light entering the diamond.

Ideal for coloured diamonds - because cushion cuts show up blemishes and inclusions more, coloured diamonds will appear stronger in colour.

Need to be careful when it comes to clarity - The clearer the diamond, the more inclusions you can see. So you may need to go for a diamond with lower clarity.

Princess cut



The cut hides blemishes - because of the facets of a princess cut it means blemishes are less visible.

Need to be careful of corners - the princess cut features strong sharp corners that can get knocked which could lead to chips or the diamond coming out of its setting.

Stunning brilliance - the way a princess cut glitters means it is perfect for those who love a little glamour as it catches the light beautifully.

The cut restricts your choice of settings - because the corners need to be protected you cannot leave them bare and so this can restrict your choice of settings and ring style.

Looks great as a solitaire - a princess cut can stand on its own as the only diamond in an engagement ring design. It also means it’s the perfect choice for those who prefer a more traditional look.

Raised settings - Princess cuts are traditionally set higher than most diamond shapes, making them easier to catch on clothing and snag.

Both diamond cuts are stunning and at Brown Family Jewellers our team of experts select only the highest quality stones and metals for our engagement ring designs. 

The engagement ring you choose needs to work for you, take some time to consider the pros and cons for these two very popular diamond cuts and find the perfect ring today.